God designed beavers to build dams. They build dams along creeks and ponds to raise the water level to allow life to continue to grow and flourish. A correctly built dam has the ability to turn a shallow stream or a stagnant pond into a lake filled with life. Beavers work very hard in the placement,construction and maintenance of their dams. It takes many beavers to do all the work needed to build a good dam.
Mr. Beaver always liked to build dams. When he was young, he would help the older Beavers build dams. One day while helping one of the wisest beavers in the community with a dam, Mr. Beaver was tapped on the shoulder, “Son, God has really given you a gift in building dams. You are the best builder I have ever seen.” The older beaver continued, “You should really think about leaving our flourishing pond to go help other beavers build bigger and better dams.” Mr.Beaver asked, “How will I know where to go? This is the only pond I have ever known.” The older beaver replied, “You need to be still, listen to God speak to your heart and He will show you the place you need to go.”
The next morning Mr. Beaver got up, found a quiet place in the woods and began to pray. “God,” Mr. Beaver started, “I know that you have given me the ability to build great dams and I want to help other beavers in the wilderness by showing them how to build great dams. But I don’t know where to go.” After a few minutes God replied, “Just start walking and I will let you know when you need to stop.”
Mr. Beaver told his family good-bye and started walking. He walked for days and days and days and saw all kinds of animals. He saw parts of the wilderness that he had only heard of before. God did not tell him to stop until he came to a shallow, stagnant pond. It lay deep in the wilderness. The pond had almost dried up. There weren’t any butterflies. There weren’t any humming birds. There weren’t even any frogs. There were lots of mosquitoes and some big black birds that he had never seen before.
Mr. Beaver didn’t waste any time looking around. This pond needed his help and he knew it. He got to know all the other beavers that called this pond their home. He was surprised at how many beavers still lived near the pond. He went to each one and explained he was here to help them build a dam that would bring life back to their pond.
Some beavers didn’t like the sound of this news. They rather enjoyed the condition of the pond. The pond was small and their voices could be heard over all the other animals. But, many of the other beavers got excited about the idea of having a bigger pond with more life. This group encouraged Mr. Beaver to stay, and assured him that he could count on their help when he needed it.
Now this little pond already had a small dam that a handful of beavers worked very hard to keep in place. Mr. Beaver approached these hard working beavers and suggested that he help them make a bigger dam that would help bring new
life to the pond. These beavers were very excited about the chance to work with Mr. Beaver. It wasn’t long before they began to see progress. The water level in the pond began to rise and new animals started to move into the area.
Mr. Beaver began to realize that he needed more workers. The current workers he had were becoming tired and some of them even stopped helping. He told them that he would go find some help from the other beavers around the pond. Mr.Beaver knew that he could count on the others to help continue the building of the dam. He remembered their excitement when he arrived at the pond.
The first group Mr. Beaver approached told him that they did not like the pond getting bigger; they were against it from the start and were NOT going to help in any way. The second group of beavers explained that they did not like the way the dam was being built. They did not approve of the kind of mud or wood
that was used. They told Mr. Beaver that they would not help unless some changes were made in how the dam was being built. The third group of beavers offered to donate more wood or mud to continue the project, but they were much too busy or too old to get involved in the building process.
After a while, Mr. Beaver returned with only four new workers that were willing to help in the building of the dam. The workers questioned Mr. Beaver, “You could only find four helpers? Surely there are more beavers willing to help us.” Mr. Beaver replied sadly, “These four were the only ones willing to commit the time and energy it takes to build a good dam and are committed to make the pond a better place to live.”
That evening, Mr. Beaver and all the workers went to bed discouraged because they all knew that in order to build the dam the way it needed to be built they had to have more workers. Day after day, Mr. Beaver would get up and leave the
workers at the dam and try to recruit more beavers to help. Day after day, Mr.Beaver would return with nothing more than a few sticks and a little bit of mud that had been donated by the other beavers. Many of the beavers that called the pond home enjoyed all the great things the dam provided for them, but very few offered to help.
Finally one day, Mr. Beaver got up, found a quiet place in the woods and began to pray. “God,” he said, “you have gifted me with the ability to help build great dams. This is where you told me to stop and I did. I went around to so many of the beavers that call this pond home to get the help we needed. Only a ew workers were willing to commit the time and hard work it will take to continue building. I’ve tried to help them make a better dam and in turn help the pond grow stronger.” Mr. Beaver continued, “They enjoy the pond and everything it has to offer. They have become too comfortable using the pond to see the value they can add to the pond. All the beavers are needed to make the pond complete. They all have something to offer the pond.”
After a few minutes God replied, “Be patient. Do what I have gifted you to do no matter what happens. You will be rewarded. I promise.”
The question is…Which group of beavers do you belong to?
“In ministry change is slower, more subtle and easier to resist. A group of people may well run the church for a generation or more, insuring continuity by handpicking and grooming their successors. The average age of the congregation may rise, but no one notices until there are only a handful of children in the Sunday school. The youth program dies because there are not any youth. A congregation like this one has a fear of change.” – This quote taken from ‘Ten Dumb Things Churches Do’ by Philip Wiehe.
Story by: Bryan Crouch
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